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Christmas shopping trip to chicago with teens!

Christmas shopping trip to chicago with teens!

Old Nov 6th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Christmas shopping trip to chicago with teens!

I am bringing my husband, my 18 yr old step daughter and 15 yr old step son to Chicago for a christmas shopping trip in early December. Even though I used to live there I can't think of what to do!
We plan on going to get pizza, hit taylor street for some good italian food. Go to the Art institute, museum, hancock (95th and 96th floor), sears tower. What else? they have never been.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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I assume that you already are planning to hang out on State st. and Michigan ave. for the lights at night....as long as you are here for Xmas.

It seems that you are looking to do tourist stuff as well? I think that Hancock and Sears Tower are redundant...sure there are differences but it really is just looking at the city from heights...pick one.

What are the teens interests? How much time do you have? Is shoping the criteria? Are you working on a budget of some sort? Where are you staying, have a car? Is a big city something different or are you a city family? Do you care to venture into the suburbs?

There might be a Bulls game going on or perhaps Blackhawks. Christmas at Brookfield Zoo is a fun thing. The Rocketts are in Rosemont.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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I remember going to Gino's East for pizza and Water Tower Shopping Mall near the Hancock Building. Just walking up and down Michigan Avenue and State Street was enjoyable if the weather is good.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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If you have memories of Chicago, and it won't be a drive either- you may want to hit the Chicago Historical Museum. It just reopened and then combine/go to Oven Grinders' which is a unique Chicago pizza experience and not at all far.

Chicago Hist. has senses displays and the teens seem to love them, including a good Riverview Park and other aspects of old Chicago. Not like the Field and/or a more formalized environment, but there is lots of hands on interactive with this venue. See their web site. You'll find tons to do. The kids would love "Wicked", if you got the $$ to spend.

Also see the threads on Chicago with the search function. Chicago teens as keywords, as you will be surprised at all the ideas you will get.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Let them check out the Reader on line at chireader.com to see what's going on that week. They might like to see a concert or performance art at the MCA. My teens love Second City; if yours like Jon Stewart, get tickets for a show. Old Town is a fun area to stroll - stop the acquarium store, the Up-Down Tobacco Shop and the lower-level chocolate shop for handmade candies.
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 05:46 AM
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Depends on how many days you are here.

With all due respect to the previous poster, I wouldn't do the Chicago History Museum if you have only 2-3 days here, since you have first-time visitors.

I'd recommend ice skating at Millennium Park's McCormick Tribune Ice Rink instead. It's just north of the Art Institute, so you could do both easily with limited time.

Zoolights at the Lincoln Park Zoo would be another suggestion, especially if you are going to Lakeview to catch a Blue Man Group show.

Think you should go to the theatre at least once when you are here. "A Christmas Carol" at the Goodman; "Wicked, the Musical" at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts (aka Oriental); "Blue Man Group" at the Briar Street Theatre; Second City; etc. Take a look at Metromix (the Chicago Tribune's entertainment website) or the Chicago Reader online for options.

The Blue Chicago store (next to Blue Chicago) on N. Clark Street has the Down in the Basement blues series on Saturday nights which are family-friendly (under 21 permitted). And the Jazz Showcase has the family-friendly 4 pm matinee on Sundays as well.

Shopping: Get off the Magnificient Mile and/or the Loop and go into the neighborhoods. Wicker Park/Bucktown has a great deal of shops; Lincoln Square ditto; Lincoln Park on Armitage (mostly between Halsted and Racine) has upscale boutiques; N. Southport south of Addison has as well. Clybourn Corridor has the "big-box" type stores but I prefer going to the Crate and Barrel (and its CB2 cousin) there, rather than the Michigan Avenue flagship store, simply because the crowds are less. Lakeview on N. Broadway has several very nice stores for home decor and a nice mix of other types. If you are looking for a store that sells sports jerseys, hats, etc., take the Red Line up to Addison - there are several right around Wrigley Field - and you could get some good photo ops in front of the ballpark, too!

Or just get off the Magnificient Mile or Loop. There's quite a few nice shops along N. State and N. Rush, north of the River, as well.

Have fun when you are here!
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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to clarify the details of our trip: We will be in town Sat, Sun, Mon. We plan to check out state and michigan for sure.
We would like to mix some touristy stuff but not over the top. We want to make sure we show off the must-see's that Chicago has to offer- stuff that visitors and natives alike should experience!
I was thinking sears tower by day and then the signature room at hancock (96th floor) by nite over a drink!

teens don't have any major interests. they are both very mature for their ages so they really like to do the same stuff we as adults do...we plan to see wicked and maybe a blackhawks or bulls game. They would not be interested in kid-stuff. second city is a good idea. shopping in the neighborhoods might be fun too...CAN WE CATCH ALL THAT BY BUS AND / OR CAB???

NO DEFINED BUDGET, STAYING IN CITY (LOCATION TBD), NO CAR, COMING FROM ATLANTA, NOT INTERESTED IN GOING TO THE SUBURBS.
ANY MORE ADVICE IS WELCOME.
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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feleciac, yes...easy to get to the neighborhoods by either bus or El. In which neighborhoods would you have an interest?

The neighborhoods will be fairly dead on Mondays because people who live there will be at work - usually downtown. Which is good if you don't like more people when shopping but then you really don't get the "flavor" of the neighborhoods.

So, IMHO, I'd do the touristy stuff downtown on Saturday when you first get here and also Monday; and go into one or more of the neighborhoods on Sunday.

Note: The stores open later, as a rule, on Sunday. But I still think that would be the optimum day because you really should experience the "must-sees" as soon as you get here for most impact.
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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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With all due respect for the previous poster, if the OP has lived in Chicago before and has teens, she would LOVE the new Chicago Historical, despite any time restraints. In fact, this is one in the "right" place that is not an all day or 1/2 day. More like 2 to 3 hours and could fit in perfectly.

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Old Nov 7th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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JJ5, IMHO, for the holiday season with so much more to see and experience than usual - and as the OP wants to include shopping time, I wouldn't choose the Chicago History Museum for their itinerary.

The "must sees" I would include are: the Art Institute; the Magnificient Mile and State Street areas (the last especially for the holiday windows, Christkindl Market including the city's great tree at Daley Plaza, and the theatre); Lincoln Park Zoo Zoolights (free and beautiful) with a short side visit to the Lincoln Park Conservatory (also free); Millennium Park (and ice skating there, if desired); the John Hancock Building.

The OP and family are going to one of the other museums besides the Art Institute already, so I think that would be sufficient for this visit. I'm not sure if it would be the Field Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry, but if the latter, that will take 1/2 day at least.
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